The Cat Rental Store in Sparwood officially closed their doors to the public on the morning of March 12 after Finning Canada announced their plans to cut their workforce by 500 people.
According to Finning Canada’s Communications Manager Hilary Eneka, the job cut announcement was made about one month prior to the Sparwood store closure and was based on business demands.
“This move is part of that evaluation of our business and in areas where we’re seeing lower demand, we’ve had to adjust our business accordingly,” Eneka said. “The Sparwood Cat Rental Store [a division of Finning Canada] is one of those areas where they’ve made the decision to close the branch.”
The last minute decision, however, has surprised and shocked many Sparwood locals, including Sparwood mayor Cal McDougall.
“It’s devastating,” McDougall said. “Not only are the people [that worked there] our friends and neighbours, but it’s very difficult for the community.”
He went on to say, “Cat Rentals was a big part of our community. Just to be gone like that, it’s just a shock.”
McDougall said there were probably a dozen employees working at the branch who are now out of work.
Eneka gave her sympathies to the employees, stating, “Part of the reason these decision are so difficult is because it impacts employees. We’re making every effort we can to retain and relocate employees where there’s an opportunity to do so.”
Questions also arose on what the Sparwood store closure will mean in terms of current rentals and products that need servicing.
“Everything is up in the air,” McDougall said.
Currently all calls are being forwarded to the Calgary Branch and the Sparwood location will be accepting Cat equipment returns until April 24, after which time all equipment rentals and any new business must be directed to the Calgary location.